Japanese group to market hydrogen fuel made from sewage
A consortium of five Japanese companies including Toyota Motor Corporation last week began testing a process that will yield hydrogen fuel derived from sewage sludge.
This odd form of renewable energy will power motor vehicles equipped with fuel cells. Toyota, its affiliate Toyota Tsusho Corporation, Mitsui Chemicals Inc., Daiwa Lease Company and Japan Blue Energy Company intend to commercialize the product by 2015 and have banded together as the HIT Business Research Group.
HIT intends to convert sewage into hydrogen fuel by using a technology called Blue Tower developed by Japan Blue Energy, one of the consortium members.
Many automakers, including Toyota and Honda, are planning to build new fuel cell vehicles in a few years’ time. Fuel cell vehicles convert hydrogen into electricity and emit only water vapor as a by-product of combustion.
Sources said extracting hydrogen gas from sewage is cheaper and cleaner than the traditional method of generating it from liquefied natural gas and other fossil fuels. Using hydrogen gas could cut carbon emissions by 75%.